The story moves ahead to June of 2001, and Amir has just gotten off the phone with Rahim Khan, who is in Pakistan and is very sick. He wants Amir to come see him, and says “there is a way to be good again.” Amir takes a walk through Golden Gate Park, and parts of the narrative are exactly repeated from the opening chapter – Amir watches the beautiful lake, a man playing with his son, and two kites flying overhead. Amir feels that Rahim Khan knows everything about Hassan, and that he is inviting Amir to return as a way of redeeming himself.
The narrative returns to the beginning of the novel as Amir receives the phone call that interrupts his successful American life. He is upset that Rahim Khan is sick, but also Rahim Khan’s words imply that he knows about Amir’s past betrayal of Hassan. Here the kites represent Amir’s memories of Kabul – both nostalgia and guilt – and also a possibility of future redemption.
Amir decides to go to Pakistan, and General Taheri and Jamila agree to come stay with Soraya while he is gone. The General broke his hip two years earlier, and Jamila would sing songs to him as he slept in the hospital. The night after the phone call, Amir lies in bed with Soraya and thinks about their marriage. They still make love, but it feels almost futile now. They used to talk often about their future children, but now they talk of other things. Amir falls asleep and dreams of Hassan running in the snow, saying over his shoulder “For you, a thousand times over!” A week later, Amir gets on a plane for Pakistan.
There are two things keeping Amir from happiness at this point – his guilty past in Afghanistan, and his inability to have a child with Soraya. These two things become linked as one feeling of emptiness, as Amir lies in bed after “futilely” making love with Soraya and then dreams of Hassan as a child. Amir’s decision to go to Pakistan shows that he is finally willing to take some positive steps to make things right.
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